Hiram E. Chodosh will take office as the fifth president of Claremont McKenna College on July 1, 2013. He comes to CMC having already achieved distinction as an educator, an academic administrator, a legal scholar, and an internationally recognized advocate of judicial reform around the world.
He was recently named by the magazine the National Jurist as one of the 25 most influential legal educators in the country; the magazine's selection identifies "a 'who's who' of the people who have shaped the [legal] discussion over the past year..."
Shaping academic and legal discussion, however, is nothing new for CMC's President-elect. Chodosh has been engaged throughout his career in efforts to make substantial improvements in the quality of academic life in U.S. higher education and in the turbulent legal climates of other countries.
Born in 1962 in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Chodosh received his B.A. in history from Wesleyan University in 1985, and his J.D. in 1990 from Yale Law School. He began his law career at the international firm of Cleary, Gottlieb in New York. In 1993, he left the firm to join the faculty of the Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, Ohio.
Over the next 13 years at Case, Chodosh developed a reputation as an innovator, both as a teacher and as an administrator.
He served as the Hostetler Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; he also directed the Frederick K. Cox International Law Center. He worked on a broad range of projects and initiatives, ranging from the enhancement of leadership opportunities for students to the development of interdisciplinary courses and the introduction of new skills training. He taught courses and labs about global judicial reform, and he received a Distinguished Teacher Award in 2000.
During this same period of time, Chodosh took a direct, hands-on approach to the question of global justice reform. He worked in more than 20 countries in Asia and the Middle East, serving in advisory positions for the U.N. Development Programme in Asia, the World Bank Justice Reform Group, the International Monetary Fund Legal Department, and many other organizations and commissions. He also spent a year as a Fulbright Senior Scholar in India.
Chodosh has published many articles, books, and essays on mediation, legal reform, and comparative law. His recent books include, Law in Iraq: A Document Companion (with co-editor Chibli Mallat) published this year by Oxford University Press, and Global Justice Reform: A Comparative Methodology, published in 2005 by NYU Press.
"We cannot afford to rest on negative assessments of a desperate situation," Chodosh writes in Global Justice Reform, "but need to press on creatively in response to the challenge."
Two forthcoming books by Chodosh are, Anti-Corruption in Iraq (co-authored with Navin Beekarry) and The Uniform Civil Code of India: Blueprint for Scholarly Discourse (co-authored with Shimon Shetreet), both to be published by Oxford University Press.
During his career, Chodosh has lectured widely, addressing audiences at workshops and conferences around the world, including Hong Kong, India, and Washington, D.C.
In 2006, he became Dean of the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah, where he is also the Hugh B. Brown Endowed Presidential Professor of Law and Senior Presidential Adviser on Global Strategy.
Along with his naming as an influential legal educator in the National Jurist magazine, Chodosh's other recent accomplishments include being named a recipient of the Gandhi Peace Award in 2011 and his involvement, while at the University of Utah, as director of the Global Justice Project: Iraq, an advisory think tank.
His unanimous selection to become CMC's next president was made by a 15-member Presidential Search Committee of Trustees, faculty, students, and alumni.
For Board of Trustees Chair Harry T. McMahon '75 P'08 P'09, who served as Vice Chair of the search committee, Chodosh's liberal arts background and his passionate engagement with social issues were appealing to members of the committee.
"His own impressive career exemplifies the unique mission of CMC-combining the liberal arts with real world and public policy experience," McMahon said in an official announcement. "We are all looking forward to working with him."
Joining him next year in Claremont will be his wife Priya Junnar. The couple has two children, Saja, 20, and Caleb, 17.